Living Large: Southie Rules

Rachel Slade's off-kilter take on hub dwellings.

macallen condos

As the first condo building in Boston to receive Gold LEED (i.e., eco-friendly) certification, the Macallen got plenty of attention when it was completed in 2007. Now its unique triangular profile has become a familiar icon symbolizing South Boston’s revitalization. Those who dwell there enjoy the building’s many perks, including a media room, plentiful bike parking, and a lushly landscaped rooftop pool and grilling area. Until recently, the choicest pad, the penthouse, was unavailable—reserved for the developer. But his plans have changed, and the original monster of a unit has now been divided into two sprawling condos, the larger still generous at 3,223 square feet. Living on the other side of the tracks (literally) does have its advantages—namely, lots of natural light, a novel view of the city, and slightly more affordable digs (less than $900 per square foot with parking)—though no one would call this a bargain. But who can put a price on watching traffic snarl on I-93 from the comfort of your roof deck?

macallen condos


Address: 141 Dorchester Ave., PHB Unit, Boston
Listing Price: $2.9 million
Listing Agent: Beth Dickerson, Gibson Sotheby’s, 617-510-8565,
Stats: Three bedrooms, three baths, two roof decks, two parking spaces


Diminutive Dwellings

As the need for more housing in Boston becomes increasingly dire (some estimate that we’re tens of thousands of units short), a few developers are heeding Mayor Menino’s plea for so-called micro units. One such model, designed by the architecture and design firm ADD and recently on display at the Boston Society of Architects, is essentially a dorm room: about 300 square feet with “shared amenities,” in the form of large common spaces. There are plenty of people happy to subsist with less, but the projected price tag for units like it already under construction in Fort Point—$1,700 per month—makes residing in Boston proper seem even less attainable than it did before. And yet for people who can’t fathom living on the edges of the city, or for those who prefer cleanliness to character, this may be the tiny ticket.

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